A rudimentary explosive device was found at the entrance of the Chabad House in Florence.Daniel Halper writes:
...Tensions are high in Italy over Israel's operation in Gaza. Last week, red paint was thrown at the façade of the synagogue in Pisa. On Saturday, thousands of people, many of them Muslim, staged a pro-Palestinian march in Rome. Some of the placards showed swastikas superimposed on the Star of David.
At this point, it is unclear who targeted the Florence Chabad House — a crazy individual or a coordinated group. Either way, Israel’s defensive incursion into Gaza may have exposed a sentiment shared by many around the world. [emphasis added]Of course, Halper is exactly right: Israel's Operation Cast Lead did not create Anti-Semitism, it exposed it. Virulent hatred of Jews, the kind that leads you to yell that Jews should be sent to the ovens and inspires people to attack synagogues--whether in Florence or in Mumbai--none of this is the sort of thing that is suddenly switched on because you are opposed to the actions of Israel.
Instead, what we are seeing is Anti-Semites taking the opportunity of Israel's military actions as an excuse to spew their poison publicly. These very same people who would not dream of stepping outside to protest what is happening in Darfur now jump at the chase to join mass protests of like-minded people to fling epithets, not at Israel, but at Jews.
This proves once again that bottom line, Israel can rely on no one to defend its security but itself.
UPDATE: Frank Furedi, writing for Pajamas Media, identifies where concerns about Israel morph into Anti-Semitism:
In reality, many Western European officials are worried not just about peace in the Middle East, but also about managing the radicalization of their own Muslim population. Distancing Europe from Israel is seen as necessary for appeasing the anger of Europe’s Muslim population. From this perspective, the problem is not simply Israel but also Europe’s Jewish population. So in order to accommodate what are taken to be Muslim sensibilities, Jewish interests often become a negotiable commodity.And to think that just 10 days ago we read in The Christian Science Monitor:
Israel finds more sympathy in EuropeThat sure didn't take long.
Concerns about Islamist threat have influenced traditionally pro-Arab Europe's view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.